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Mark Craig

Reporter/Columnist | Vikings/NFL
phone: 612-673-7011
Mark Craig covers the NFL and the Vikings.
Recent content from Mark Craig
Praise abounds for Adrian Peterson, but no team has yet offered him a job

Praise abounds for Adrian Peterson, but no team has yet offered him a job

Many teams could use a back of the former Viking's skill, but won't commit.
Ex-Viking Boyd doubts concussion settlement will make up for shattered life

Ex-Viking Boyd doubts concussion settlement will make up for shattered life

Brent Boyd, who played in the 1980s, is skeptical that he'll get the $2 million he's entitled to in the NFL concussion settlement
Vikings GM Spielman hasn't lost faith in himself or his system

Vikings GM Spielman hasn't lost faith in himself or his system

Rick Spielman is "very confident" the Vikings are on the right course to end a playoff victory drought dating to 2010.
Raiders relocating to Las Vegas after NFL owners vote in favor of move

Raiders relocating to Las Vegas after NFL owners vote in favor of move

While Vegas stadium is built, the team still must play at least two more seasons in Oakland.
Point of emphasis: NFL preparing to take aim at dangerous hits

Point of emphasis: NFL preparing to take aim at dangerous hits

The league's competition committee will step up efforts this week to warn teams that the NFL is prepared to increase ejections and suspensions of egregious illegal hits in 2017.
Second-guessing on NFL sidelines could look a lot different next season

Second-guessing on NFL sidelines could look a lot different next season

Owners will vote on changes related to reviewing penalties and number of coach challenges. Pace-of-play tweaks also will be considered at meeting.

NFLPA to discuss marijuana policy during annual meeting

More than 100 players are expected to attend the meeting that's open to all active players, said George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs for the players' association.
Free agency: Vikings probably didn't strike gold (or get stuck with garbage)

Free agency: Vikings probably didn't strike gold (or get stuck with garbage)

We'll never know the pecking order on General Manager Rick Spielman's wish list, but also keep in mind that free agency is a two-way street. Sometimes, a guy wants to go to Carolina to play with his brother.
Vikings' 2008 memo plays part in painkiller lawsuit

Vikings' 2008 memo plays part in painkiller lawsuit

Team's monitoring of prescription drugs shown in trainer's communication.
Vikings' Greenway honors father, family and football in NFL retirement

Vikings' Greenway honors father, family and football in NFL retirement

Choking back tears, Chad Greenway called it a career and credited his parents for the values they instilled.
Craig: Moss deserves Hall of Fame spot on first ballot

Craig: Moss deserves Hall of Fame spot on first ballot

In about 51 weeks, I'll be asked to present the opening argument for Moss. He's not my favorite person, but that doesn't matter. I do think he's worthy of being one of the few receivers not named Jerry Rice to enter the Hall on his first ballot.
First-ballot Hall of Famer receivers

First-ballot Hall of Famer receivers

A list of receivers Randy Moss hopes he'll join in 2018.
Fitzgerald motivated by much more than stats and fame

Fitzgerald motivated by much more than stats and fame

This is the second time in his 13-year career Larry Fitzgerald Jr. has been a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, which is considered the league's highest honor off the field.
Belichick looks for one thing in assistants — 'little Bills'

Belichick looks for one thing in assistants — 'little Bills'

Bill Belichick lives for football; his uniquely qualified staff does the same
As Brady nears 40, brain training hones his edge

As Brady nears 40, brain training hones his edge

New England QB Tom Brady says his brain is faster than it's ever been and believes it's making him a better quarterback. Not exactly the news the NFL's 31 other teams are looking for.
Gopher ball: Super Bowl is grand stage for Hageman, Campbell

Gopher ball: Super Bowl is grand stage for Hageman, Campbell

The Falcons have Matt Ryan, sure. But they also have two former Gophers contributing on defense.
Craig: For Falcons' Ryan, stats and NFL history aren't on his side

Craig: For Falcons' Ryan, stats and NFL history aren't on his side

Matt Ryan is the likely NFL MVP. But sorry, Matt: MVP quarterbacks often meet their match in the Super Bowl.

Trust us, there are 10 really good reasons to watch Super Bowl LI

The Falcons and Patriots in Super Bowl LI doesn't scream grudge match, but the storylines are plentiful.
A Super Bowl curse for NFL's high-scoring MVPs?

A Super Bowl curse for NFL's high-scoring MVPs?

Matt Ryan is the likely NFL MVP, but that doesn't guarantee success in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl facts

What you need to know about next Sunday's big game.
Craig: What's in Belichick's way? One nasty Falcons buzz saw

Craig: What's in Belichick's way? One nasty Falcons buzz saw

Even the Patriots, with the league's No. 1 scoring defense, will need every cranny of coach Bill Belichick's brain for the Patriots to snuff out high-scoring Atlanta.
Craig: Since '92 Super Bowl, NFL has turned on its head

Craig: Since '92 Super Bowl, NFL has turned on its head

Thursday is the 25th anniversary of the 26th Super Bowl, the only one to be held in Minnesota. But Super Bowl LII is fast approaching.
Changes in the NFL since 1992

Changes in the NFL since 1992

Take a trip down memory lane, since the last time Minneapolis hosted a Super Bowl
A predictably unpredictable formula for the 2018 NFL playoff field

A predictably unpredictable formula for the 2018 NFL playoff field

If history repeats itself, seeding-wise, a year from now we'll be looking at the Giants, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Chiefs as the final four teams.
Elite QB leading hot teams in NFL playoffs? We've seen this before

Elite QB leading hot teams in NFL playoffs? We've seen this before

We should be in for a treat Sunday, with four of the best QBs in the NFL playing for two spots in the Super Bowl.
Craig: Playoff kickers are nothing to mess (or miss) with

Craig: Playoff kickers are nothing to mess (or miss) with

Kickers are 33-for-33 in this year's playoffs and — look away, Vikings fans — 64-for-66 (.970) since Blair Walsh duck-hooked his 27-yarder last season against Seattle.
NFL playoff pressure tightens grip around contenders

NFL playoff pressure tightens grip around contenders

As we head into this weekend's NFL divisional playoff round, here are the hottest pressure points in the four games
Craig: Can NFL turn wild-card duds into divisional delights?

Craig: Can NFL turn wild-card duds into divisional delights?

Maybe the divisional round will offer some gripping competition, after a slate of sleepy letdowns.

Mark Craig's NFL playoff picks: Super Bowl LI has familiar feel

Find out who our NFL writer projects to make it to the Super Bowl.
With big payout from Vikings unlikely, new reality awaits Peterson

With big payout from Vikings unlikely, new reality awaits Peterson

Be it here or elsewhere, star running back Adrian Peterson faces a big pay cut for the 2017 season. "Sometimes, you're able to work things about with business and sometimes you're not," Peterson said.
Road to Houston: NFL playoffs bound to trip up anyone en route to Super Bowl LI

Road to Houston: NFL playoffs bound to trip up anyone en route to Super Bowl LI

There's a treacherous road between here and the Lombardi Trophy and it starts with the unpredictablity of wild card weekend.
NFL playoff field loaded with finishers, with two battling at Lambeau Field

NFL playoff field loaded with finishers, with two battling at Lambeau Field

The 12-team NFL playoff field, which begins postseason play with four wild-card games Saturday and Sunday, is littered with finishers sporting the kinds of brains Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he wants to pick
On the NFL: Peterson might want elite veteran treatment, but he has aging veteran status

On the NFL: Peterson might want elite veteran treatment, but he has aging veteran status

The running back has always defied the odds, but age is a relentless foe and will shape his future – with or without the Vikings.
Craig: Patterson hopes he's proven his worth to Vikings

Craig: Patterson hopes he's proven his worth to Vikings

Cordarrelle Patterson says not getting a fifth-year option didn't serve as any sort of motivation.
Thielen not worried about stats, happy to make blocks

Thielen not worried about stats, happy to make blocks

Five extra points from Sunday's Vikings-Bears game.
Lions' Matthew Stafford could be one comeback away from NFL MVP

Lions' Matthew Stafford could be one comeback away from NFL MVP

Leading the Lions to the NFC North title could put Matthew Stafford over the top.
Vikings' Hunter tipped expectation scales this season

Vikings' Hunter tipped expectation scales this season

Danielle Hunter's team-high 12 sacks rank third in the NFL behind Atlanta outside linebacker Vic Beasley (14½) and Denver outside linebacker Von Miller (13½).
Returning for more: Vikings' Patterson on verge of setting NFL record

Returning for more: Vikings' Patterson on verge of setting NFL record

No player has led the NFL in kickoff return average more than twice since 1942. That could change Sunday if the Vikings' Cordarrelle Patterson maintains his comfortable lead

Teddy Bridgewater says knee injury has helped him 'spiritually and mentally'

Teddy Bridgewater is the recipient of the team's Ed Block Courage Award.
Randy's return, roof collapse, Favre's finale: Vikings season isn't as odd as 2010

Randy's return, roof collapse, Favre's finale: Vikings season isn't as odd as 2010

You think 2016 has been a train wreck for the Vikings? 2010 has it beat - when the team, the coach and even the stadium collapsed.
On the NFL: Shaun Hill's legacy? He's lasted

On the NFL: Shaun Hill's legacy? He's lasted

Shaun Hill might be at the end of a career that was much longer than expected.

Mark Craig's Week 17 NFL power rankings

The Vikings have plummeted to 23rd -- one spot behind the Bills, who just fired their coach.
Craig: Vikings playoff hopes go poof thanks to Matthews

Craig: Vikings playoff hopes go poof thanks to Matthews

The game clock ticked down to 1 minute left in the second quarter when there was a feeling the Vikings might actually have a chance to upset the Packers. Enter Clay Matthews.
Five Extra Points: McCarthy regains control of series, Rodgers keeps foot on the pedal

Five Extra Points: McCarthy regains control of series, Rodgers keeps foot on the pedal

Thoughts about Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy and more.
After undefeated start, offensive realities caught up with Vikings

After undefeated start, offensive realities caught up with Vikings

When the Vikings were 5-0, more than a quarter of their points were not scored by the offense. That pace simply couldn't be kept up.
A healthy Harrison Smith changes Vikings' outlook vs. Packers

A healthy Harrison Smith changes Vikings' outlook vs. Packers

The safety has missed the past two games because of an ankle injury, and he would be a boost for a Vikings team fighting to stay alive in the playoff race.
Peterson limps into Lambeau, possibly for final time as a Viking

Peterson limps into Lambeau, possibly for final time as a Viking

If Peterson plays, it might be his Green Bay farewell in purple.
Craig: Packers looked far, wide before Montgomery was go-to runner

Craig: Packers looked far, wide before Montgomery was go-to runner

Desperation turned Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery into a running back. Turns out he's good at it.

Mark Craig's Week 16 NFL power rankings

The Patriots continue to lead the league atop the rankings.
Vikings' linebacker Barr is playing more -- and producing less

Vikings' linebacker Barr is playing more -- and producing less

If you're one of those fans trying to figure out why Anthony Barr isn't playing like, well, Anthony Barr of late, you're not alone.
'We laid an egg.' Munnerlyn lets out frustrations after loss

'We laid an egg.' Munnerlyn lets out frustrations after loss

Mark Craig offers his five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings game
Craig: Peterson more of a burden than boost for Vikings vs. Colts

Craig: Peterson more of a burden than boost for Vikings vs. Colts

The Vikings, to their detriment, tried to force-feed Adrian Peterson carries and paid the price.
Colts' Gore has yet to be taken to the ground by Father Time

Colts' Gore has yet to be taken to the ground by Father Time

Gore, 33, will play in his 94th consecutive regular-season game and make his 90th straight start, both of which lead all NFL backs. He hasn't missed a game since the start of the 2011 season.
Zimmer tackles setbacks with grit, fresh perspective and sense of humor

Zimmer tackles setbacks with grit, fresh perspective and sense of humor

Zimmer isn't sure when, or if, strange things will stop happening to the Vikings. But he likes to note that through it all, they still have seven wins, one fewer than at this point last year.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith might be able to play Sunday

Vikings safety Harrison Smith might be able to play Sunday

Coach Mike Zimmer said reports of a season-ending ankle injury were exaggerated.
Craig: Defenses having their say in points-obsessed NFL

Craig: Defenses having their say in points-obsessed NFL

Some would suggest the 7-6 Packers would be a scary playoff opponent — if they sneak in — because of Aaron Rodgers and that offense. But let's shift to the other side of the ball.

Mark Craig's Week 15 NFL power rankings

The Giants' victory over the Cowboys on Sunday night now put New York at No. 3 and Dallas at No. 4 in the rankings.
For Zimmer, being tough is about walking the walk

For Zimmer, being tough is about walking the walk

"Since the day I walked in the building here, I've talked about toughness," Zimmer said Monday, the day after the Vikings extended the meaningfulness of their season with a 25-16 win at Jacksonville.
Barr lights up, Thielen snaps drought for Vikings

Barr lights up, Thielen snaps drought for Vikings

Five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings victory over Jacksonville.
Craig: McKinnon jukes and jabs, setting up huge Vikings moments

Craig: McKinnon jukes and jabs, setting up huge Vikings moments

Jerick McKinnon's valuable late-game yardage came when his team needed it most.
Plenty has changed since the last time Vikings played Jacksonville

Plenty has changed since the last time Vikings played Jacksonville

Among the changes, Blair Walsh is out and Kai Forbath is in at kicker.
Zimmer will coach from sidelines, wear special sunglasses

Zimmer will coach from sidelines, wear special sunglasses

Mike Zimmer's eye doctor asked the Vikings medical staff to try and persuade Zimmer to coach from the safety of the booth but gave Zimmer the option of being on the field. He opted for the latter.
Jaguars all about spirit of giving (turnovers) as they prepare for Vikings

Jaguars all about spirit of giving (turnovers) as they prepare for Vikings

The key matchup in Sunday's game isn't an individual battle but two teams at near-opposite ends of the league's most important statistic — turnovers.
Craig: As NFL players go, Thielen and Reed are (Mankato-style) Mavericks

Craig: As NFL players go, Thielen and Reed are (Mankato-style) Mavericks

It's true: Sunday's Vikings-Jaguars game in Jacksonville will feature twice as many former Minnesota State Mavericks as former Ohio State Buckeyes.
Health issues finally sacked NFL workaholic Mike Zimmer

Health issues finally sacked NFL workaholic Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer, like Jerry Kill, paid big for ignoring health issues.
Five extra points: Bradford's hits, Locke's struggles and a wrinkle in the run game

Five extra points: Bradford's hits, Locke's struggles and a wrinkle in the run game

Mark Craig offers his five takeaways from Thursday night's game against the Cowboys.
Craig: Robison's monster effort ruined, and refs don't help

Craig: Robison's monster effort ruined, and refs don't help

A four-play, 4-yard "drive" ruined what should have been defensive end Brian Robison's shining, season-saving moments Thursday night.
Craig: Cowboys owner Jones, Vikings inextricably linked

Craig: Cowboys owner Jones, Vikings inextricably linked

From the Herschel Walker trade to U.S. Bank Stadium, Jerry Jones and the Vikings have a connection.
Vikings looking to take advantage of the Dallas defense

Vikings looking to take advantage of the Dallas defense

The Dallas offense has sparked the team to a 10-1 record, but the Vikings will look to take advantage of the Cowboys' defense, which has been vulnerable.
Craig: Stafford is joining the comeback pack

Craig: Stafford is joining the comeback pack

Matthew Stafford is adding a special season to a strong history.
Five extra points: Interception aside, Vikings doomed by dumb penalties, bad match-ups

Five extra points: Interception aside, Vikings doomed by dumb penalties, bad match-ups

The Vikings had 54 yards rushing on the drive and had first-and-goal from the 10. But that's when left tackle T.J. Clemmings made a backside illegal chop block that was unnecessary on a Wildcat run to the right.
Vikings and Thanksgiving: 1969 snowstorm, Marshall parties, lasting memories

Vikings and Thanksgiving: 1969 snowstorm, Marshall parties, lasting memories

Historically, the Vikings have owned Detroit, including on Thanksgiving in 1969.
On the NFL: 'Thursday Night Football' is making league look bad

On the NFL: 'Thursday Night Football' is making league look bad

"Thursday Night Football" has delivered some real stinkers. And even the players are noticing that it does "kind of hurt the product."

Mark Craig's Week 12 NFL power rankings

The Seahawks, at 7-2-1, have slipped ahead of the 9-1 Cowboys in the rankings.
Vikings leaning on Diggs, regardless of cornerback Peterson's presence

Vikings leaning on Diggs, regardless of cornerback Peterson's presence

Diggs has 26 catches for 244 yards the past two weeks. Peterson, the fifth overall draft pick in 2011, has five Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro selections.
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